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tv   Ku Klux Klan  CSPAN  September 2, 2017 10:00pm-10:51pm EDT

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following the release of "birth of a nation" until the world war ii years. it includes interviews with members which viewers might find disturbing. this 45 minute film earned cbs 1965ts and its producer a peabody award. ♪ the driver of this car is the mother of five children. alabama, aom selma, red white sedan overtook her car. several shots were fired. the driverless car appeared off the highway and came to a stop at a cattle fence. the woman was dead. arrested and charged with murder with three alleged numbers of the ku klux klan. one was tried. the jury was unable to reach a verdict. this is an earthen dam, a temporary grave of three civil rights workers.
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they were beaten and shot to death. among those indicted with a triple slaying were six men identified as members of the ku klux klan. none have been barred -- been brought to trial. in this automobile, men was cut by a shotgun blast while writing through georgia. fousted for the crime were r knights of the ku klux klan. months, 13short alleged members of the ku klux klan said to be involved in these murders. >> you are completely at their mercy. their atrocities and violence can be visited on anybody that disagrees with them in any given situation. >> what started as a joke 100 years ago when a group of men for a romp hass over the years attracted to it
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persons charged with acts of harassment, intimidation and violence throughout the south. it is a nation has been outraged for many years, the ku klux klan persists with its bizarre rituals and trappings. 100 years is a long time for a joke. ♪ >> cbs reports presents "the ku klux klan: the invisible empire." here is charles crawled -- kerrault. >> the ku klux klan has been allowed to exist in this country. virtually every president in the last century has said they have little regard for constitutional authority. president johnson, following the murder in alabama, defined the ku klux klan as the footed .ociety of a gets -- of bigots
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he warned them to return to a decent society before it is too late. the house american activities committee started a full-scale investigation on the grand slam. -- on the ku klux klan. they have hearings planned. attemptittee will not to show the ku klux klan in action. for the next hour, we will take a close look at the ku klux klan from the inside out, examine its leadership, rituals, secret initiations, it's a record of violence. first, let us look at klansmen without robes. it is sunday, the day after a meeting in durham, north carolina. thee men are part of knights of the ku klux klan, one of the most exclusive organizations in america. it excludes anyone who,
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anyone who, according to them, is not 100% american. , but in't hate niggers don't associate with common jews or catholics if i can help it. jones.s is j robert he now reportedly rules over more than 50 chapters, and there 7000 members. >> i think the nigger has rights, it should be equal but separate rights. it has worked before now and it works now. if lyndon johnson told me i had to associate with you, i would tell him to go to hell. >> this is matt murphy, until his death, he was the legal counsel of the united klans.
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speeches before the united clans of america. they were the only organization that ever went on record after i ,ad talked for two solid hours on the viciousness of the -- the federal reserve corporation and how it has a built americans out of their great britain has removed the bank from international bankers. >> this is a nighthawk of the lans.d k they're responsible for security. >> why did you join? >> have a wife and five kids. i want them to be, to have a country to be raised up in like i was. i was not forced to go to school with niggers and it with them. i want them to have the rights i had. >> this is mr. outlaw.
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outlawer jones goes, mr. is at his side. these are the three defendants indicted for the killing. men had little to say. they preferred listening to their counsel. >> i wrote in my history books, there is a nigger, the race is an inferior race. they taught me that in school. that was not too long ago. >> they always were in the always will be. >> where do you think the money is coming from behind the civil rights movement? >> christ killing jews. what about the role of the catholics? >> the reason the catholics cannot get in this organization, his first allegiance is not to
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the united states, his first allegiance is to the pope. they think the church should rule the government with the pope at the head. if they are right, a lot of people in this country are wrong. we've never had a drop of blood spilled between a white man and a black men in any city in north carolina with the klan. everybody is organized. niggers have the naacp. the jewish people have the knights of columbus. nobody has ever talked about investigating it, they should. gentile, protestant the only salvation may have left kkk.e united states is the important ku klux klan official was not at the meeting.
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the chaplain. there was one in action the night before. >> you got a bunch of people standing up here with their cameras and they don't have enough backbone to give him a job and go to work. [applause] >> i want to tell you, i'm just telling you, they will print half of the story. they don't have enough backbone to tell the truth. you will die and go to hell without god. [applause] [laughter] >> is cspi would investigate i would- the fb investigate them. [applause] the preacher in action. the hellfire speaker, the rabble-rouser. he entertains with a measure of
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comedy and christianity. above all, he preaches racial hatred. >> you think that black and white should be mixed together. your dog won't mix with your hog. listen friends, we need to turn to god. we need to raise up with god. god will give us freedom. our forefathers walked barefoot in the snow to give us freedom. because we set back have a man in the white house. we need to stand up. takes a man to be a man. andody going down committing adultery with a nigger. ogs, they have little
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pigs. s, they will try to protect them. see our children sold out to a bunch of niggers. don't be a hypocrite, don't be one-sided. do something about it. [applause] was born 100 years ago in alaska, tennessee as a six-member social club. the burning cross became a symbol of the violence it used to keep the newly freed negroes in their place. produceddw griffith what was called the first great feature-length picture, "the
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birth of a nation," who subject was the ku klux klan. klansmen.l shown to these are some scenes. of two whiteessing children scaring negro children as the pickiness -- as depicted as the birth of the klan. the idea is successful. masks, white men are able to fight negroes. negro scared a white girl in concert to fall to a cliff to her death, the negro kills a white man.
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captured, the killer is taken to the woods and put on trial. the klan passes judgment. the culprit is killed and his body deposited at the door of the lieutenant governor. in the same year that "the birth of a nation" was released, a new leader rose to have the klan. william simmons. he leads his followers of stone mountain in georgia for the first initiation ceremony of the reincarnated klan. he added something new to the uniform, a stylized facemask which he alone could wear. he also insisted they operate in secrecy. sinister activity group. after first 14 months
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world war i, 70 negroes were lynched, 14 burned. in 1922, the imperial wizard int not overcome ra-klan difficulties. new imperial wizard established headquarters in washington to be closer to congress, their next target. they were so powerful in oregon in 1923, was able to elect the resident of the state senate and the speaker of the house. in ohio, their candidates became mayors. at the national democratic convention in new york in 1924, it is estimated at least 350 .elegates were klansman 1925, the klan was big
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business. the organization was grossing $75 million year. klansman and women paraded down pennsylvania avenue. used to catch money thrown by spectators. in the 1920's, the imperial was it of indiana was indicted on charges of assault and battery, rate, mayhem, kidnapping and murder. and found guilty. the scandal caused a sharp drop in membership. in 1940, there was a mild flirtation between the german-american believers in the master race and the kkk. iney joined up in a rally new jersey. 25 years later, there is nazience that klan-
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friendship is being revived. this man was interviewed by a radio station and paid by check for his appearance. when the canceled check was returned, it had been endorsed by the head of the american nazi party with a swastika stamped beneath his signature. wizard, and imperial received a bill from the irs for $685,000 for the klan's back taxes. unable to pay, he disbanded the klan. four years later, his partner reactivated the klan. at a rally in georgia, the imperial wizard defended the new klan. >> we don't hate the negro.
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god made him black and made us white. laid out ind this genesis, in which he segregated the races. for 5000 years, the white man has been the supreme race. we intend to keep it the white race. >> today, the organization first from the past, in that klansmen are willing to appear in the ropes and floods in daylight. the essence of the civil rights struggle, they have become more militant. groups have paramilitary units. guards are trained to take care of anything that might happen at rallies. they also sponsored a softball teams. since softball cannot be played bes, kkk appears on the uniform.
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sometimes, mannesmann engage in more bizarre sport. the letters kkk were carved with a knife on the chest and stomach of this man in houston, texas, after he had been hanged from his knees and flock. the attorney general of alabama, who is currently investigating the kkk in his state, told us -- >> to me, it is a group primarily of thugs that would use the civil rights issue to foster an organization or a clan , as they are, and will take them -- take the law into their own hands. they have become their own police power. they are a police group within themselves dedicated to defiance of law, violence, they are, as i have expressed before, they are a hooded bunch of killers and
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night riders and floggers. this nation and state has no use for them whatsoever. >> the strength of the ku klux klan is difficult to estimate. among its me secrets is the actual membership total. students of their affairs say there are at least 30,000 to 50,000 active members. --re probably is millie probably as many as a million americans sympathetic to their aims, and if pushed to a decision would join them. when a 100% pure white american citizen applies. applies, if use excepted, he can become a member of the visible -- the invisible empire. we filmed part of a secret initiation ceremony in georgia. filming had to be done with available light and the only parts of the ritual we cannot film were the secret handshake,
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password by which klansmen identify each other, and the secret oath of allegiance to the imperial authority of the klan. this is the ceremony we filmed. [chanting] >> five initiates appear before an exalted cyclops and others.
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corresponding to a president, lecturer, chaplin and secretary. by anad been checked out investigating committee. on a makeshift altar before an electrified cross are placed a sword representing ancestral courage and a flag, the implement of your patriotism. an open bible is laid on the flag. a glass of water, which is used ,o consecrate the initiates completes the symbolic array. an inner guard sits at the
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door. on the other side, is an outer guard. the guard and to assistance report to the cyclops. >> [indiscernible] >> stand in silence and [indiscernible]
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>> right face. >> left face. >> this is the eyes of scrutiny part of the ceremony. klan members passed by the initiates for one last, searching look. >> right face.
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march. in this room, the initiates swear allegiance to the klan above all things. the secrecy and ritual of these meetings, to seem laughable to an outsider, have a grim purpose. because if it's a secrecy, they can hold sway over a community. men are initiated into the klan and their neighbors will not known they are klansman. if some are sheriff deputies, fellow officers will not know. if they are jurors, fellow jurors will not know. the klan can take over positions of influence and power. >> therefore brethren, by the mercies of god, you present your body as a living sacrifice, may you be transformed that you may prove what is good and
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acceptable in the perfect will of god. relationshipze our to the government of united states of america, the sopranos of the -- this from c of the constitution and constitutional laws. [indiscernible] >> argue a white, gentile american citizen? do you believe in the christian religion? [indiscernible] >> let us pray.
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[indiscernible] >> i welcome you to citizenship and the invisible empire, the knights of the ku klux klan. >> the new klansmen are not part of the alien world, they are part of the invisible empire, entitled to wear the robe and proud possessors of the secret handshake and password. they can now attend clever and klavern meetings and rallies such as this one. [cheering] has aspects of a carnival. children start attending at an early age.
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robes are made for youngsters. andies have entertainers, they are tailored for an audience. this one recites a palm. -- a poem. >> [indiscernible] [applause] the featured speaker is usually a well-known personality. at this rally, the late matt murphy junior, imperial council
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of united claims. >> i will tell you this, i will tie you want to do, they're about to pay the bill of sale that striking a civil rights worker is a federal offense. [indiscernible] >> that's the way they will do it. gunor god sake, get your and get somebody who will fight. [applause] >> the extra added attraction, he introduced the three men indicted for the murder of the civil rights worker. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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>> and befitting the occasion, the three men were besieged by autograph hunters. they willingly obliged. of crimesrs accused must be defended. additionally, money is needed for operating expenses. the invisible empire needs of treasury. but where the money comes from and how much is a secret. what is known is that initiation fees are between $10 and $25, and yearly dues range from three dollars to $10. the estimate is that it is a million dollar a year enterprise. robes,omes from dues, individual contributions and what is raised at a rally. >> you can afford to give $1000.
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that might be a businessman. there might be someone who could write a check here for one man salary. have, $10, one dollar. , weught to be able tonight ought tonight to come way up the letter. adder. l [applause] >> the men and women received torches and parade around the circle. >> ♪
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♪ ♪ cheerish the old rugged cross >> what you are watching, 700 robed and hooded men marching around a burning cross took place in the united states in .965 ♪
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>> klan leaders are sensitive about the reputation the klan has for violence. they have adopted a new policy which says look at us. we are a fraternal organization. we have nothing to hide. imwizards and grand dragons no longer avoid the dress. they sport crew cuts, buttoned down collars and well tailored suits. the most publicized leader is imperial leader robert shelton of the knights of kkk. he spence time in his alabama office constantly listening to tape recordings of dr. martin
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luther king jr. those he can identified are circled and filed. he explains why. place ve a division or bureau b.i., the klan of investigation. >> the klan says it does not want violence, that it is a peaceful organization. in the small community of gray, georgia, the only movie theater in town permitted negroes to sit in the balcony. the klan decided this was not a good thing. very friday night 50 car loads of clansmen circled the theater. >> further were uncovered in a lawsuit in new orleans. the hearings revealed in boeing lewis, louisiana, sometimes
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of d klantown u.s.a. in the city's 19,000 klan members were city policeman. the city attorney was himself identified as a clansman. boeing lewis station moved against. they made a speech in boeing on race n bogalusa relations. the effect was immediate. 75% of the commercials were canceled. wbox is still broadcasting, but at a loss. although the klan says it has respect for law and order, there are records of countless crimes which some klansmen performed for those that they deemed proper. klokann uld have the
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committee or the committee that administered the nothingings. one would get on one side of this man who was doubled up with his wrists handcuffed to his ankles, who had been taken from his home he thought by a legal warrant, and who had unknown to him been reported by someone to be a labor organizer , and they equated that to communism, and they equated that to race mixing, and they would usually equate that to say some jewish person was back of it. the multiplicity of things, anything that appealed to hate and berggren desouza. they would take this man, and they would beat him. >> the klu klux klan does not stop at floggings. at years ago in birmingham, conducted e klansmen
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a crime short of murder. they abducted this man and castratred him. >> they hit me in the back of the head, grabbed me, and stepped me out. one stood on this arm and one stood on this one. one caught my legs and spread them apart. then he got help from the other one, and they spread my legs apart. the boss ordered him to do your way, and they went to cutting on me. when they got through cutting me, they put turpentine on me and said i wasn't hollering, put turpentine to mchale it hurt more. i don't believe they are human. >> not only individuals suffer at the hands of the klan. sometimes whole cities are victims. >> in one large city there is evidence that klan-inspired violence touched off one of the most vicious racial riots in history. the place was st. augustine,
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florida. this klansman was responsible for what hatched. reverend ronnie lynch is the biggest rabble-rouser that the klan has to offer. most people would shoot you if put a bull in the white her fered. there may be some bedroom cases all right, but when the smoke clears away, there won't be no bedroom caseles. > little rock, birmingham, bogalusa, connie lynch was there. when racial violence was predicted for florida, connie lynch went there too. negroes were trying to integrate the bathing beaches, and the florida advisory committee warned that the city was becoming a racial super bomb with a short fuse. >> when the police stand up on
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the corners and hit the black fellas standing on the corner, that is hate. >> the temple of violence increased rapidly. the klan paraded in the streets, unmindful of the rain. >> and i will say this to the stooges that want to take us all o the enemy, and the the cohorts, we are going to rise up 40 million strong. [cheers and applause] >> on the night of june 25, 1964, the fuse burned down, and the racial bomb exploded. st. augustin was the scene of a frightening riot. scores of people were injured, 19 hospitalized. connie lynch had done his work. >> i spoke for the white people. the while people rallied behind it. we kicked the hell out of them, accept them back to their home
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towns. and they got quiet and went back over where they belonged. >> these examples of klu klux klan activity are not unusual. for the past 100 years, the invisible empire, the self-proclaimed second national government has reserved to itself police authority and the right to correct what it considers wrong. although some klansmen have been apprehended and tried for the crime, the fact remains that the perpetrators of more than 225 bombings and 1,000 acts of racial acts of violence, reprisal and intimidation have not been arrested. the problem is that law enforcement itself is often in the hands of authorities who either belong to or sympathize with the klu klux klan. the publisher of the atlanta constitution, ralph mcgill, explains why citizens are powerless to protest in such situations. >> in the small community, you
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too often find that the sheriff is a member or that the deputies are members, and the poor white man, or particularly the poor negro in a small community, he well knows that the law isn't going to help him because the law is more often than not in the klan or sympathetic in a small southern community. >> the klan is not a single, strongly organized group. it is composed of splinter groups fighting each other for new members and territory. on memorial day weekend, james venable, head of the nationals knights of the kkk took his klan north to a side 25 miles from cincinnati, ohio. they believed the whites in the north worried about negro civil rights demands in their own communities, are really to embrace the klan. this was the first open klan rally in ohio in more than 30 years. the fact that the klan is getting boulder was demonstrated by the site which
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was select the, right alongside super highway 75. klan robes, many of which had been stored away for years, were put out for an airing. since the building of a cross requires skill, volunteers hammered the pieces, wrapped hem and soaked them with asoline and motor oil. [inaudible] >> the klan added a new touch to attract crowds. a skydiving show with parachute jumpers releasing klan flags and landed on klan-blessed land. the northern most penetration of the clan took place last month near cleveland, ohio. all carlings headed for the
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rally were searched for weapons. police confiscated, rifles and pistols. at a nearby restaurant, men lined up to get applications for membership in imperial wizard venable's knights of the aclu clucks clan. that night, 20 men and women at a safe distance pictured the meeting. [inaudible] >> the burning of the cross was the high point of this rally. only 21 miles from cleveland. does the invisible empire have a right to continue its activities in the north or the south? in our democracy, freedom of speech must be accorded. klansmen have a right to meet and wear uniforms. if it is a from term order, it should enjoy the privileges of other orders. the truth is among all organizations, o.j. the klan has a history of violence. lawmakers have not ignored the
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klan. 22 states have passed laws prohibitting the wearing of masks in public, and 52 southern communities have outlawed masks and cross burnings. but even these laws have been ineffective. klansmen can still legally wear masks and burn crosses on private property, and they still intimidate and harass citizens. >> now the attorney general is working on new yeanlt-klan lemming slakes. he was asked what form it may particular. >> well, i think it could take a number of forms. one would be to follow the analogy with respect to the communist party and to seek full disclosure of their membership and a listing of the klan and its members and it's officers as a glare of publicity. another approach, perhaps a better approach, would be to
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follow the pattern of the existing laws, but to expand their scope of federal jurisdiction under them and to increase the penalties under them so that the federal government could get a more deep involvement. >> we have put up with the klan for 100 years in this country. how long is it going to take for us to see the end of the klan? >> i don't know when we will see the end of the klan. i think the end of the klan of any kind of an effective organization of any sort at all is within sight. i doubt that the klan is going to be a very effective force anywhere 10 years from now. >> earlier we showed reverend in oodahl, a clanklud action.
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last week we asked him why he quit. >> well, if people would just check the record and see who is leading the klan, what are they, and what do they stand for? that would be a logical question. so take take any individual, if he be in the klan or out, check the leadership. say for example we have people who are painter contractors. as far as i know. failures. insurance. people with concrete business, as far as i know. failures. and such as that. just failed out and flunked out , come promote leadership and lost out everything they had. when they couldn't find nothing else to do, they haden them a klan leader. >> after every klan meeting they go around and collect money. what happens to that money? where does it go? >> as far as we know, it all finds its way into the pockets of leaders now.
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myself as an individual, i just couldn't tell you. now we know that they do take up money every rally. we know that. the news knows it. everybody there knows it. they pass their buckets around and take up money. but as far as we know, that is the end of it. we don't have no record or nothing else as far as i know now. somebody else may know something i don't know. people ride around, lives in their motels, drives the cadillac, eats the ribeye steak and laughs at the poor people as they go bad. >> whatever happens to the klu klux klan will not finally happen in washington. it will happen in the small towns of the south, chose generosity has been damped. if the klan prospers, it will draw its strength from such communities. if the klan falls, it will be
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because one man and then another in such places have made up their own minds that a free society cannot co-exist with an invisible empire. good s charles curalt night. ♪ >> the klu klux klan, the invisible empire was filmed and edited by the staff of cbs reports understand the control of cbs news. ♪
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>> you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook @c-span history. >> this weekend on the presidency, history professor lisa ocean of des moines area community college uses photographs and diary entries to describe the friendship between herbert hoover and democrat hear true man. here's a preview. >> on the morning of may 28, 1945, this would end herbert hoover's 12-year isolation from the white house.
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oval office he that landed 55 minutes, the creative friendship that would last until hoover's death in 1964. hoover was asked to write, and he loved to write mclemore dums as you have heard, and it was several pages. this was a couple of sentence. i saw president truman this morning at 10:30 a.m. he asked me to tell him what i thought of the whole situation. i replied that the situation was degenerating all over the world, partsly of course due to the war and partly due to mismanagement, but that he had to take it as it is arcs and there was no time to be bothered with recrimination as to what might have been. there, subcibulkova stance, and hunger, and hunger meant communism. truman would always be very brief, kind of pithy. in his, he had a two-line memorandum versus four pages. he would write, due hoover. thanks a lot to your memorandum. it will be very useful to me.
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he addressed a p.s. i appreciated very much your coming to see me. it gave me a lift. and in his private writing, truman would write the following. saw herbert hoover day beforored and had a pleasant conversation on food, and the general troubles of u.s. presidents. we discussed or prima do not as and what makes them. some of my boys are having trouble with dignity and prerogative. it is hell when a man gets in close association with the president. truman likes to use hell a lot in his writings. in his memoirs years later, some historians have faulted him for the exact details of this first meeting, but certainly truman recorded the spirit of the occasion. the call, the respect, the urgency, the drama, and even the humor as he noticeded that hoover remembered the way to the oval office.
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>> watch the entire program on our weekly series, the presidency, at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on sunday. american history tv, only on c-span 3. >> this year marks the 100th anniversary of buffalo bill's death and the buffalo bill center of the west in cody, wyoming. they hosted a symposium. paul feinbaum delivered the keynote address. he described how william cody became a symbol of the frontier and influenced american perception of western culture. this is just over an hour. paul: welcome, everyone, to the final event of what has been a terrific three days. you know when you start to plan these things, and you think we will have this person and that person and do all this stuff there. was this moment when we started to put the program on paper and said we have 36 different

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